Leaders Valletta take on depleted Spartans

Leaders Valletta are firm favourites to claim the three points on Saturday as they take on a depleted Hamrun Spartans side in one of the two matches in programme at the National Stadium.

Besides losing dramatically to Balzan Youths, the Spartans lost four players through suspension after that game as Kevin Sammut was sent off, Rupert Mangion collected a fourth yellow card while Lee James Agius and Gaetan Spiteri were reported by the referee. To make matters worse, Omar Borg, Roderick Fenech and Steve Bonnici are ruled out injured.

The Spartans lost three of the last five matches and are currently joint-ninth together with Marsaxlokk.

Valletta, on the other hand, won six of the last seven matches and lead the way, three points ahead of second-placed Hibernians. They are coming from a 4-1 win over Tarxein Rainbows.

Missing for Valletta is Ian Azzopardi who serves a one-match ban.

In the first round, Valletta defeated Hamrun 2-0.

Meanwhile in the first match, Marsaxlokk take on Hibernians.

Hibs will be without three of their Brazilian players as Diego Balbinot is injured while Marcelo Dias and Edison Luis dos Santos who were both handed a one-match ban. Adrian Pulis, Ryan Camilleri and Jonathan Pearson are injured. However the Paolites cannot afford any result other than a win in order to keep the pace with the Citizens after dropping six points in three draws out of the last four matches.

Marsaxlokk are coming from a goalless draw with Mosta in their last outing and hope to obtain another positive result on Saturday in order to climb further up the table.

Obinna Obiefule is no longer on the club’s books after demanding an unconditional release following the failure of the payment of his salary for the past two months. Malcolm Licari, like Carlos Campagnoli and Florent Raimy, filed a request for his release and therefore may not be in squad for Saturday’s game. Clive Brincat and Sunday Eboh are suspended.

In the first round, Hibs beat Marsaxlokk 2-1.

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